HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

Girls threatened with acid attack for refusing sex trade

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Lucknow, August 10, 2014
First Published: 22:31 IST(10/8/2014) | Last Updated: 22:35 IST(10/8/2014)

About 50kms from Varanasi in Mirzapur, a group of young school-going Dalit girls were threatened with acid attack if they refused to join a sex racket.

The girls in the age group of 14-16 years were followed while on their way to school. A woman -- possibly the kingpin behind the racket -- threatened the girls.

The woman befriended the girls and took their telephone numbers on some pretext. Once she got the numbers she used them to threaten them with acid attacks. The numbers were also passed on to boys who made indecent calls to harass them.

According to the girls, who are obviously scared and don't want to be identified, they were also told their family would be harmed if they didn't join in.

"Often media reports cases of kidnapping as those of elopement," complained a villager insisting they don't have any evidence to prove such crimes.

One of the girls who were harassed mentioned in her written complaint, "The woman approached me promising to place orders for a wedding in the family and took my cell number. Thereafter, I started receiving indecent calls from men."

Initially, the girls went to Vindhyachal Chhanve police station but to no avail. Then they approached social activists and some elders in their villages. City magistrate Gulab Chandra said he has asked the girls cellphones to be put on surveillance.

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